By Aaron Agius
There’s a slew of reasons why employees act the way they do: age, personality, experience, reliance on a paycheck, and so on. As their employer, you do your best to create a healthy work environment that inspires hard-working employees. But are they telling you what they actually want in return for their hard work and loyalty? Do they even know what they want for that matter?
Giving a raise or PTO, putting new sofas in the break room, and adding a cappuccino machine are all nice ideas. However, they’re tending to the symptom and not the root of the issue on how to inspire and keep top-notch employees.
Add the fact that millennials now represent the largest share of our workforce, and we’ve got a lot to talk about. Millennials are changing the workforce—for the better, if not for the hard work to adjust—and what is now valued most needs to be front and center.
I’m not going to lie, the things I mention in this post are abstract, which means they might be a bit more difficult to get your hands on. Signing off on a raise is easy. Committing to these daily strategies? Not always so easy. But trust me here. Raises and break room sofas alike lose their newness fast. The three things your employees actually want last forever.
Your employees want respect. From you, from their fellow co-workers, and even from your customers. Respect says, “I value you as a human—and you have good things to offer here.” It also acknowledges trust.
The most important thing employers can do in regards to respect is to earn it themselves. Be the example of someone earning—not commanding—respect. Display a work ethic and personal life that oozes with integrity. Toss entitlement out the window.
Additionally, the benefits you offer can display respect. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce, that lead the way in employee satisfaction, show their respect by including benefits that promote a healthy work-life balance. Paid family leave, gym memberships, training on stress and time management are all examples of an employer that recognizes and respects an employee’s time, both inside and outside of the company.
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